Sports Update

Men’s Soccer (6-7, 4-2 CALPAC)
08 October (Away)
ERAU 7 – 0 Cal Maritime
The Eagles continued a brief road trip with a decisive win over the California Maritime Academy Keelhaulers. Important for conference ranking, the win was earned by goals from six different ERAU players. Sophomore Joel Paget had two goals and an assist on Spencer Varalyai’s goal.

15 October (Home)
ERAU 1 – 2 UC Merced
At the first Men’s Soccer home game in two weeks, the Eagles fell to the UC Merced Bobcats in a tense matchup. ERAU entered the second half down 0 – 1. In the opening minutes of the second half, UCM scored once again, but Mason Laaksonen scored off a cross from Daniel Nunez just 15 seconds later. The two teams remained deadlocked for the rest of the game.

Women’s Soccer (8-2-2, 3-1 CALPAC)
08 October (Home)
ERAU 5 – 1 Johnson & Wales University – Denver
The Eagles, ranked #25 in the nation, pulled off a strong home win against the JWU Wildcats. A steady ERAU offense resulted in five goals scored throughout the game, including two second-half tallies from Megan Currier. The only Wildcat goal was scored with less than two minutes left in the match.

15 October (Home)
ERAU 1 – 0 UC Merced
The Eagles looked forward to a tough match with the team ranked #1 in the California Pacific Conference. ERAU kept their opponents on the defense for most of the game, limiting them to only three total shots. Sophomore Jamie Wilson scored the go-ahead goal in the 56th minute.

Volleyball (15-3, 8-1 CALPAC)
08 October (Away)
ERAU 3 – 1 Benedictine University at Mesa
The Eagles won the first two sets 25-20 and 25-22, setting them up for victory. The Redhawks, not to be deterred, managed to win the third set 25-18. The Eagles then came back with a vengeance, winning the final set 25-19. Hannah Mercurio had 49 assists in the victory, helping her to earn her second honor as CalPac Player of the Week. Jalin Yoder’s 19 Kills helped her earn CalPac Attacker of the Week for the second week in a row.

14 October (Away)
ERAU 3 – 1 Antelope Valley
The Eagles started a brief California road trip facing a familiar conference foe. ERAU swept through UAV in a CalPac game, winning the first three sets 25-21, 25-19, and 25-18. Lyndsey Weiler led all players in points at 11.5. Six team blocks made sure the Eagles stayed on top.

15 October (Away)
ERAU 1 – 3 UC Merced
The Eagles were handed just their third loss of the season with a match against UC Merced. ERAU dropped the first two sets 20-25 and 19-25. The third set was an incredibly hard-fought win, with the Eagles pushing for a 31-29 outcome. Unfortunately, UC Merced refused to let the third set affect them, and won the fourth set 25-11.

Sports Staying Current Student Interest

New AXFAB Machinists Prepare for Coming School Year

As Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University continues to grow, the demands on AXFAB, especially from senior design projects, have likewise increased. Seeing a chance to raise the quality as well as the quantity of AXFAB’s work, the university has, in addition to acquiring new machines, hired two experienced more machinists to work in AXFAB.
Joining long-time Embry-Riddle machinist Patrick David are new employees Jeff Hyatt and Ernie Stokesberry, who began their work this year. “I started July 8,” said Stokesberry. “That was my first day… I’ve been here almost three or four months now.” Stokesberry graduated from the University of Central Missouri in 2004, and worked for HNTB Corporation and Georgia Precision Rifles before moving to Arizona. In addition to his work at Embry-Riddle, Stokesberry also owns and operates Accurate Solutions, LLC in Chino Valley.
“I would be a resource for all the students in the machine shop and also in the labs,” Stokesberry said. “And I would sort of be here and there and everywhere…. Jeff’s more on the aerospace engineering side, and I’m on the mechanical engineering side, though obviously there’s a lot of overlap.”
“My prior work experience as far as the machine side and the design side is mostly with the firearms industry and the automotive industry,” said Stokesberry. Hyatt also described his background, saying: “I spent my whole career basically working in the engineering industry. I also have a machine shop in my home. I did a lot of vintage motorcycle work.”
One of the recent additions to the AXFAB is a 3-axis, CNC-mill with a 4000-rpm spindle and a 12-place toolholder. Hyatt and Stokesberry are eager to make use of the mill’s capacity to work with CATIA software to create parts with industry-level complexity and precision.
“With the students here doing all of this CATIA modelling, the idea is to get their CATIA models translated to this machine and fabricate them that way,” said Hyatt. “That’s the way it will be in industry, and that’s how it has been for twenty years,” Stokesberry added. “It’s been a long time since anybody would actually sit at a lathe with a print.”
The new machine, Stokesberry explained, is much faster than a manual mill. Many parts once required hours or days to create, “whereas here,” he said, “these operations will be done in half an hour or less… that goes for the Astro side, and the AE side, and the ME side as well…. That’s one of the reasons I was hired here, because I have a strong background in CNC machining.”
Other new pieces of equipment include a laser etching machine used to cut wood. “It will help with the design-build-fly,” Hyatt said.
Stokesberry then pointed to another machine, one expected to be particularly useful in modelling and light aircraft work. “This is a CNC foam-cutter,” he said, “this is what you could use to cut airfoil shapes.”
“It’s all CNC operated,” added Hyatt, “so it can do all kinds of angles and shapes.” The two machinists explained how a hot-wire cuts the shape out of the foam, which would then be covered in a composite material for strength.
“On the not automated side, we are going to get a new milling machine in there, and we’re going to be equipping the manual mill and the lathe with digital readouts … All of these things around here will upping the bar considerably.”
Jeff Hyatt summed matters up, saying: “Our goal is to have all of the students with the mindset of ‘I’m going to make a design without having to worry about the manufacturing,’ because I think over the last year all the creativity has been squashed.”

News Staying Current

Professor Ron Carr Shares War Stories at Aviation History Night

On Wednesday, Oct. 12, a large crowd gathered in the auditorium of the Davis Learning Center (DLC) for October’s Aviation History Night presentation. The speaker was Captain Ron Carr, who flew the OV-10 with the Air Force in Vietnam, and now works as an associate professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Carr titled his presentation ‘The FAC, the Secret War, and the Trail’ – defining the FAC (Forward Air Controller) as “A specifically trained and qualified aviation officer who exercises control from an airborne position of aircraft engaged in close air support of ground troops.”
“In order to be a FAC, you had to be fighter-qualified,” Carr said. He explained how a shortage of volunteers led the Air Force to set up an “Instant Fighter Pilot School” at Cannon Air Force Base with the job of turning bomber, cargo, and tanker pilots into fighter pilots from September to December of 1968. After learning to fly as a fighter pilot, Carr advanced to Forward Air Control training at Hurlbut Field in Florida, where he learned to fly the OV-10. “It was actually called a LARA,” Carr said, “a light armed reconnaissance aircraft.”
Captain Carr went on to describe, in great detail, the aircraft from which he would help direct the secret war over Laos, leading surveillance, command, and attack aircraft as they searched out and destroyed irregular North Vietnamese forces on the Ho Chi Minh trail. The OV-10 had counter-rotating propellers, lateral control spoilers, and a unique landing gear. Carr also described the plane’s unusual ejection procedure: “there’s no blasting off of the canopy – you blast off through the canopy.”
The OV-10 was equipped with four M-60 machine guns, but could also carry bombs, missiles, rockets, cargo, or paratroopers, though the latter would have to slide out the back end of the small plane. As a Forward Air Controller, Captain Carr was especially dependent on the aircraft’s radios, of which there were eight.
“Vietnam was a three front war,” said Carr. “The Trail was Vietnam’s way of getting supplies into the south.” Laos, desiring to maintain neutrality, gave permission for United States interdiction, but with very stringent rules of engagement. Carr described “a whole new book of what to do and especially what not to do.”
“The secret war began for us in 1964,” said Carr. “The trail was like a spiderweb of activity – it wasn’t just one road.… The trucks just rolled south.… when the Air Force began bombing in 1964, they were using O-2s and O-1s.” After taking a beating, the North Vietnamese switched from daytime to nighttime operations, and the Air Force’s task became harder.
Seeing through the enemy’s attempts at concealment was only a part of Captain Carr’s mission; he also had to clear his actions with twelve officials working in nine different capacities. “Authorization was very complicated.” Carr recalled that, on one occasion, he successfully destroyed a target by encircling it with a wagon wheel formation, in which the aircraft could come in for the strike at any angle. Only afterward did he discover that what he had done was illegal – he wasn’t allowed to put dissimilar aircraft in the same formation. Another time, when the use of the 20 mm cannons had been prohibited, his formation was constrained to make sixteen unsuccessful bomb attacks against an enemy truck – “You just can’t bomb a single truck!”
In conclusion, Professor Carr described his position as a Forward Air Controller as something combining the tasks of an “intelligence sleuth, jailhouse lawyer, initial combat search and rescue coordinator, communications specialist, munitions expert, on-scene commander of strike forces, and air strike coordinator,” – no small role in the secret air war for Vietnam.


“Space Debris—Past, Present, Future” Science Seminar

There are over 17,000 NORAD catalogued pieces of space debris between 5-50 centimeters encircling our planet, and this amount is exponentially growing. In 2007, China destroyed one of its own satellites, successfully spiking this number, and it’s predicted that the large debris existing will become untraceable pieces of small debris in the future. There is a five times predicted increase in the NORAD catalog in the next few years.
The Society of Physics Students invited Professor Robert D. Culp from the University of Colorado to give a science seminar—”Space Debris—Past, Present, Future”—on Wednesday, October 5 from 12-1 in AC-104. Free pizza and pop was provided, and the room was packed as Culp offered an enlightening presentation on space debris. He began with discussing the nature of debris. Right now, there are 6000 tons of “large mass” debris (satellites, etc.) in space; that’s 99 percent of space debris. The other 1 percent is fragmented, small debris resulting from explosions, collisions, normal operations, and deterioration over time. These are untraceable, and very hazardous to working operations.
Culp went on to discuss feasible solutions to the growing problem in space. Protecting from untraceable debris could mean new satellite design, shielding, and proper orbital selection. As for tracked and catalogued debris, differing by altitude, the plan is to increase our ability to catalog and track, along with avoiding debris by choosing orbits and improving system maneuvering capability. The general rule here is SSA—Space Situational Awareness. It goes further, though. As debris amalgamates, it is important to remove old masses (specifically within 25 years of placement), operate owned masses responsibly and focus on improving international mitigation compliances. Obstacles to this could include feisty rival countries, sub-par technology, the expense, politics, and of course, the divvying up of responsibility. Managing to remove these large masses is very central, so hopefully the politics won’t get in the way.
As for the technological advancement, this is why we need the engineers! In LEO (low earth orbit), drag additives have been used in the past to draw debris back into control. In GEO (geostationary orbit), there are 1200 tons of mass, and much debris has been lifted to disposal orbits; this is still a hazard, so scientists have turned to reigning it in. Using energy-change tactics with rockets, lasers, towing, and possibly electrostatic tractor force in the future, this debris can be managed. As for the University of Colorado, Culp added in that they are currently undergoing research on spectroscopy. Space debris is a growing issue, and definitely seems to be an interesting topic of research both now and in our future.

News Student Interest

Professor Choules transitions to teaching, mentoring

This fall semester brought new professors along with new students to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, assistant professor in Mechanical Engineering, Brian Choules PHD, is one of the many new faculty. Dr. Choules is a Mechanical Engineer with a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and his masters and PHD from Purdue. However, Dr. Choules said he initially wanted to be in the animal care industry. “When I was younger I thought about being a veterinarian but didn’t pursue that because of my aversion of blood,” said Dr. Choules.
Dr. Choules studied to become and engineer when he did research in high school about potential future careers. “When I was in high school I researched the most about engineering and decided the mechanical engineer was the most versatile and are used in the broadest spectrum of engineering,” said Dr. Choules. While in the industry of mechanical engineering he did, in fact, proceed to get a job in the medical device area. “I eventually had to get over that fear of blood,” said Dr. Choules
Mechanical Engineers in this field are involved in many processes of the devices in the medical field. “I was involved in the design and testing for all medical devices that were mechanical in nature,” said Dr. Choules, “I directed a team that conducted test to show the devices were safe to the FDA, I also wrote the standards for these tests as well.” Dr. Choules also worked on vascular devices such as stents, grafts and IVC (inferior vana cafa) filters, they prevent passage of thrombosis that could end up in your lungs and potentially kill you. “That’s a pretty big deal,” said Dr. Choules
Experience in the field can be an important aspect when it comes down to teaching, with many professors bring their own industry experiences, Dr. Choules is no different. “I plan on bringing some of my research on medical devices here to help teach.”
Dr. Choules also stated that he enjoys students learning and grasping new concepts, especially in his underclassman MATLAB class. “Many [students in] the freshman class haven’t programed on a computer before and seeing them make progress to the point where they sometimes correct me is great,” said Dr. Choules, “The most frustrating part is when I am not able or a student is not understanding a concept. I take that upon myself internally so that can be frustrating. I want everyone to succeed.”
The transition from industry to academia is never an easy or simple one, Dr. Choules says he’s found a place for him to be comfortable. “I felt it was a really great environment to transfer from the industry to academia,” said Dr. Choules. “I felt like the focus on teaching, I feel it would allow me to do what I want to which is mentor, pass on what I learned from the industry.”


Weather Balloon Launches Give Hands on Experience

Weather balloons are the most accurate source for recording upper-air information due to the fact that the information recorded is taken on sight using an “instrument package” that rises through the atmosphere. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University launches weather balloons of their own through the Applied Meteorology (AMET) program; the launches give students a hands-on opportunity that provide both a learning experience and preparation for future careers.
The AMET program typically launches the balloons once a semester to record data. The data collected plots the vertical profiles of temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, and the pressure, decreasing with height. The AMET majors know that the launches will prepare them for future careers, as NOAA National Weather Service (NWS) has been launching balloons and taking upper air observations using radiosondes since the late 1930s. A radiosonde is a small instrument package that is suspended below the balloon, the radiosonde usually weighs between 250 and 500 grams.
Weather balloons usually rise at about 300 meters per minute, or about 1000 feet per minute. The sensors on the radiosonde instrument package transmit temperature, pressure, relative humidity, and GPS position directly to the students anticipating the incoming data. However, the radiosonde also records wind speeds and directions aloft using the GPS or a radio direction finding antenna. In technical terms, wind observations found using a radiosonde are called “rawinsonde” observations.
Students follow multiple steps when preparing for a launch. Most of the steps occur simultaneously, a few of the students begin to fill the balloon with helium and attach a parachute while others prepare the radiosonde for launch. Department Chair of Applied Aviation Science, Dr. Curtis James, said, “One student is needed to detach the shroud over the balloon launcher while another holds onto the balloon nozzle. Still another student holds the instrument until the balloon is released and lifts the instrument out of their hands. This whole procure prevents the train of the balloon from getting tangled and keeps the balloon from hitting any objects like the side of the building (which would tear the balloon).” The radiosonde is attached to the balloon using a line of spool that must lengthen the train enough (150’-200’) to prevent the radiosonde from swinging.
To prepare the radiosonde, students need to calibrate it using the launching software Digicora3. Maddie Powell is one of the students who has been trained to complete such a task. “These devices record and transmit all the data we need to put together our vertical picture of the atmosphere. We are calibrating the device to align it with satellite telemetry.”
Once all of the information from the launch has been obtained, the data is collected in a “sounding,” a vertical profile depicting temperature, humidity, and wind velocity with decreasing pressure, the pressure decreases with increasing altitude.
The launches prepare students for future careers they may have. “Without balloon launches, Applied Meteorology students miss out on one of the hallmark techniques used by operational forecasters around the world,” said Powell. “On my quest to become an Incident Meteorologist for the National Weather Service, it is my hope that my training in radiosonde programming and mobile launching techniques is something that will give me an advantage for quick and capable launching from the frontline of a wildfire, severe weather, and so much more.”
The data recorded from the balloon launches is important to meteorologists because it gives them a view of the upper atmosphere. The radiosonde recording gives meteorologists an idea of what a parcel of air is doing in the atmosphere. Using the data in a plotted format, the students can discern if and where the atmosphere is stable, neutral, and unstable.
Senior Jennie White believes that knowing how to launch the balloons and record data is important to AMET majors. “Weather balloons are a piece of technology used to gather data for hundreds of different companies and organizations,” said White, “If you pursue a meteorology-related career you will be around either them or the data they produce.” However, those students who will be attending a graduate program will also find the launch experience useful. Professor Dr. Dorothea Ivanova said, “Some students go to graduate school and get involved in research projects. Field observation periods, and data collection for their research also involve the launching of radiosondes/weather balloons, and use of the data collected.”
Throughout their college career, meteorology students take various classes that involve data recorded by weather balloon launches. Department Chair of Applied Aviation Science, Dr. Curtis James, said “When our students observe balloon launches, they gain insight into the intricate structure of the atmosphere in terms of the decrease of pressure with height, and dramatic contrasts with altitude of moisture content and stability.” Using the data obtained from launches, students can test their current knowledge and predict weather. “The wind profile on the soundings helps us to calculate and analyze vertical wind shear, which is important for creating turbulence and organizing severe thunderstorms,” said Dr. James.
The Applied Meteorology program’s weather balloon launches are an opportunity for students to not only learn but apply what they have learned to a real world situation. “To attend a university that has had so much of their balloon launching equipment donated to us by the NWS and other entities so that we are able to release them as an educational experience is something I don’t think many other meteorology students in the country have access to,” said Powell, “Being fortunate enough to be the protégé of the amazing staff here in the Weather Department, I feel as though I am more than capable of achieving my goals.”

News Student Interest

Arnold Air Society and Silver Wings Attend Annual Area Conclave in Tucson

The Steven M. Scherp Squadron of Arnold Air Society and Chapter of Silver Wings attended the organization’s’ annual Area Conclave (ARCON) from October 7 – 9. The event was hosted by the Russel Spicer Squadron from University of Arizona in Tucson, Ariz. Members and candidates from both organizations annually gather at ARCON in each fall and at a National Conclave (NATCON) each spring. The conclaves provide an opportunity for networking, business, and camaraderie among different universities and Air Force ROTC Detachments across the nation. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is part of Area X, one of 11 Areas of Arnold Air Society. Area X includes Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Southern California.
Arnold Air Society (AAS) and Silver Wings (SW) are sister organizations that share most of the same values. They are both run by the Air Force Association and focus on community service and advocating for aerospace power. They work together on service projects and in other various business, creating cadet-civilian relationships much like the active duty Air Force.
ARCON started on Friday night as multiple Arnold Air Society squadrons brought together their candidates for the first-ever Area X joint candidate training session. This was a great success, enabling candidates to network with each other and better understand the scope of Arnold Air Society. At the same time, a social event was held encouraging members of both SW and AAS from across the area to meet and network in a casual environment.
The next morning, business meetings commenced. It was voted that the next ARCON will be held in Las Vegas, Nev., hosted by the Wilbur Creech Squadron at the University of Nevada – Las Vegas. Next year’s Area Staff was also voted on. For the second year in a row, the Steven M. Scherp Squadron was voted on to be in charge of the Area. Starting next year, Austin Fischer will be the Area Commander and Troy Fenner will be the Area Vice Commander. Silver Wings also elected their Region Staff for next year. The Steven M. Scherp Chapter was elected along with their AAS counterparts, with Ashley Bergstrom elected to the position of Region President.
To help with the professional development of those in attendance, a career exposition was held during the day as well. Officers, cadets, and retired officers spoke with attendees about careers as a pilot, Security Forces Officer, Special Investigations Officer, and Special Tactics Officer. Cadets at all levels were able to learn more about careers they might be interested in, going into, or will be working with as an officer.
After the business meetings concluded, a formal military banquet was held at the nearby Pima Air and Space Museum. The banquet provided an opportunity for attendees to participate in a formal military banquet while celebrating their achievements. The Pima Air and Space Museum contains a massive collection of historical aircraft and provided a unique venue for an Air Force function. Lieutenant Colonel William Leahy, an A-10 pilot from nearby Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, gave an inspiring speech highlighting the tenets of leadership he has had to use in different combat environments, and how he overcame problems he faced.
The next morning, ARCON 16 came to a close as attendees said farewell and participated in a food drive. AAS and SW will come together again this spring for NATCON in Orlando, Florida, jointly hosted by Embry-Riddle Prescott and Embry-Riddle Daytona Beach.